York HMO license conditions to be reconsidered

City of York Council’s third, five-year Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing programme is to be considered at Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods on 16 December.

The programme aims to further improve the sector by ensuring that homes meet expected standards and are well-managed, and the session will also consider streamlining and making the scheme more cost effective.

The first two schemes operated from 2006 and 2011. The new scheme that will run from 2016, is proposed to have a new condition: licence holders must demonstrate that they have the required up-to-date knowledge and skills to operate a HMO. They should be able to show that they have attended, as a minimum, a one-day professional development course provided by the council, or alternative courses which have been recognised by the council as meeting the necessary standards.
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Home sales buoyant in west York

Still properties available for less than £125,000
Moor Lane character property

Moor Lane character property

A wide range of properties have been sold in west York during the last few months. They include a one bed  terraced at  17, Hinton Avenue, YO24 3NW for £125,000,  a two bed terraced at 1, Vincent Way, YO24 3HZ for £165,000, a three bed terraced  at 54, Westfield Place, YO24 3HW for £178,000 and a four bed detached at 105, Foxwood Lane, YO24 3LQ for £284,000.

Properties currently on the market include a 2 bed flat at Silverdale Court at £140,000, a 3 bed semi Tedder Road for £215,000 and a four bedroomed property at Eden Close for £325.000. Move in straight away (no chain) properties include a 2 bed semi at The Wandle, Acomb, York for £149,950, a 3 bed semi  at Kinbrace Drive, York, YO24 for £215,000 and a 4 bed detached on Alexa Court, York, YO24 for £289,950.

Ascot Way flat

Ascot Way flat

Currently the cheapest property listed is for a flat in Ascot Way at £110,000 and a retirement flat in Front Street for the same amount

Building plots for single homes are currently advertised at around £85,000 (Thanet Road).

Cut price bargains include a flat at New Lane for £150,000 and a two bed character property at Old Moor Lane for £250,000

Properties available to rent include a 2 bed terrace at Jervis Road for £795 per month,  a 3 bed terrace in Mildred Grove for £875 pm and a 4 bed semi at Moorgarth Avenue for £1250.

Listings of over 80 properties in the YO24 area  can be found by clicking here

York Council plans new controls on private letting agents

LandlordNew laws to better regulate the private rented sector will be considered by the Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods on 25 August.

The recommendation is to introduce, for the first time in the sector, fixed penalty notices for letting agents and landlords who are found to be deliberately flouting the law.

The new legislation requires that:

  • all letting and management agents must belong to a redress scheme to ensure any complaints by landlords or tenants are dealt with fairly. Nationally there are three approved and government-backed schemes available for managing or letting agencies to join with joining costs ranging from £170 to £350 per annum.
  • all letting agents must display details of all their fees and charges on their websites and in their offices for clarity and to enable landlords and tenants to shop around and promote transparency within the sector. In line with the Consumer Rights Act, all agents must display all charges as well, as well as the redress scheme they belong to.
  • all landlords must install smoke detectors on every storey of every rented property and fit carbon monoxide alarms in every room where there is a solid fuel-burning appliance. From 1 October 2015, all private sector landlords must ensure that there are working detectors at the start of every new tenancy. (Legislation around this for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) is already in existence.)

Being the enforcing authority, the council’s Executive Member will also be asked to agree how the new legislation will be implemented and set levels of fines that the council can charge for non-compliance. The recommendation is for a maximum £5,000 penalty for each instance of non-compliance and to delegate the power to the Housing Services Manager who will be given discretion to lower the fine in extenuating circumstances.

The council will be working with landlords to ensure that they understand the implications of the new laws and are invited to contact the Housing Standards and Adaptations Service for further advice by emailing housing.standards@york.gov.uk or by telephoning 01904 552300 or by regularly looking for updates on the council’s website www.york.gov.uk

The Decision Session will take place on Friday 25 August at West Offices from 6.30pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch live online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit: http://modgov.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=875&MId=9040

House price and private rent monitor update

House sales have been brisk in west York over the last quarter. Sales have included:

Properties currently available for purchase include

Main Image Newbury Avenue, York, YO24

Newbury Avenue

Chain free properties available for immediate occupation include:

Main Image Westfield Place, York, YO24

Westfield Place

 

Properties recently discounted include

 West Thorpe, Dringhouses, York

West Thorpe

Properties for rent include

 Ruby Street, York

Ruby Street

 

HMO planning application update

An application to re-designate a property in Wains Road as a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ has been withdrawn.

HMO application withdrawn for 146 Wains Rd

HMO application withdrawn for 146 Wains Rd

 

 

 

 

 

The application made for 146 Wains Road, and a similar application made for 8 Leven Road, attracted a number of comments on the council’s online Planning portal. The application for Leven Road remains live.

The property at 146 Wains Road now has a ‘To Let’ sign in the front garden.

Homeless young people Enable older pair to make their first move in 40 years.

To help a mother and daughter move home for the first time in 40 years, City of York Council and SASH, a charity for homeless young people, will be decorating the pair’s new council flat.

City of York Council’s 60+ Housing Advice Service and SASH are delighted to announce their fifth Enable Project. Enable brings together young people who have experienced homelessness and are now part of the SASH supported lodgings scheme, and older people who are working with the 60+ housing service. The older people may be experiencing difficulties with decorating or gardening, and the young people may need to learn these skills for when they have their own home – as well as getting a taste of volunteering. The older people get to pass on their skills and knowledge while getting a much-needed job done, and both young and old enjoy gallons of tea and tonnes of biscuits!

The project is also supported by Homebase, with staff from the York store helping out on the makeover days and sharing their DIY expertise with the young people, along with donating much-appreciated decorating materials.

The council’s 60+ Housing Specialist has been working with Thelma Wright, aged 86, and her daughter Sally for over a year, as they made the difficult decision to move from the house where they have lived in for over 40 years, into a flat in council’s sheltered accommodation at Barstow House.

Thelma Wright said: “We’ve decided the flat will be much easier to manage and it is an exciting new start for us. The Enable team will be going to help with the decorating, giving the whole place a lick of paint ready for our move.”

Woodlands walkabout

Woodlands estate

Woodlands estate

Cllr Stephen Fenton (Dringhouses & Woodthorpe) and Cllr Sheena Jackson (Westfield) met with a Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust officer last week for a walkabout on the Woodlands estate, which straddles the two wards.

Defective bins

Defective bins

Stephen and Sheena were keen to raise issues of concerns to residents, including:

• Broken salt bins

• Overgrown signs

• Areas in need of a deep sweep

Overgorwn signs

Overgrown signs

Stephen commented:

“It was good to be able to spend some time with a JRHT officer to discuss issues of concern, and we were pleased to learn that monthly estate walkabouts are now planned.

As ward councillors, we want to work with JRHT to make the area a clean and safe place for people to live.”

SImporved sweeping needed

Improved sweeping needed

Esh Construction to complete Hob Moor homes

Hob Stone development 20th June 2015Yorkshire Housing has appointed new contractors to complete homes at three developments which had been on hold due to contractor Southdale Homes going into administration.

 Esh Construction will take over work at Hob Stone which is located off Windsor Garth in York.

Work on the site is expected to recommenced later in July. Some of the properties are expected to be occupied before the end of the year.

18 months ago, the development met a lot of opposition when it was revealed that the Labour Council would almost double the number of houses to be built on the former school site.

Since then, progress has been very slow with growing concerns about the development’s impact on the neighbouring Hob Moor nature area as well as pressures on local transport systems